Connecticut: Incoming Governor Says Marijuana Legalization Will be a Priority Next Year

Connecticut’s incoming Governor Ned Lamont (D) said on Monday that he plans to make marijuana legalization a top priority in 2019.

“It’s going to be one of the priorities we got,” said Lamont when asked about marijuana legalization. “It’s something I would support, and I don’t want the black market controlling marijuana distribution in our state. I think that’s a lousy way to go. Canada, Massachusetts, others are doing it”.

Lamont noted that “That’s going to lead to some enforcement things. In the meantime, we enforce Connecticut laws.”

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Connecticut Democratic Party Makes Marijuana Legalization, Release of Nonviolent Drug Offenders, Party Platforms

The Connecticut Democratic Party has passed a resolution making the legalization of marijuana – and the prison release of nonviolent drug offenders – an official party platform.

The Connecticut Democratic Party logo.

At the Party’s annual convention last week a majority of the over 1,900 delegates in attendance approved making marijuana legalization an official party platform (one of around 30).

The platform reads: “The time for legalization of Marijuana has come. Doing so will raise revenue, which can be used to benefit those suffering from the disease of addiction to prescription pain medications and other opioids.” The resolution states that “Connecticut should follow “Best Practice” for other states to detect and prevent impaired driving. However, this is not enough. We must immediately move towards early release of non-violent drug offenders, starting with the incaracated for Marijuana offenses.”

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Bill to Legalize Marijuana Passed by Connecticut Legislative Committee

A joint committee in Connecticut has given approval to legislation that would legalize marijuana.

House Bill 5394 was passed today by Connecticut’s Joint Committee on Appropriations in a 27 to 24 vote. The measure would allow those 21 and older to possess and purchase marijuana, with commissioners of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Consumer Protection and Revenue Services tasked with developing regulations for possession and retail sales.

“This committee vote reiterates what most Connecticut residents already know: it is time to make marijuana legal for adults,” said Becky Dansky, legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project. “The discussions that have taken place in the legislature this year have provided more than enough information to effectively move forward with legalization. Connecticut should stop punishing adults for using a substance that is safer than alcohol, and it has an opportunity to regulate marijuana before it starts losing tax revenue to other states in the region that have already started this process.”

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Connecticut Board of Physicians Recommends Two New Medical Marijuana Conditions

The Connecticut Board of Physicians has voted to add two new medical conditions that qualify someone to become a legal medical marijuana patient.

The Board of Physicians on Friday unanimously approved adding both  “intractable headache syndromes” and “neuropathic facial pain” to the list of medical marijuana conditions for those 18 and older.  The commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection now has the final say in whether the conditions are actually added to the state’s list of medical marijuana conditions.

If the commissioner does approve of the conditions, they will join 22 other conditions, including:

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Connecticut Lawmakers Include Marijuana Legalization in Budget Bill

The legalization of marijuana has been included as part of a larger budget bill released today by Connecticut Democrats.

Democratic leaders have included marijuana legalization in a large budget bill released today. Supporters of the provision – which includes Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney (D) –  say it will bring in much-needed tax revenue to the state, which is facing a projected budget gap of roughly $5 billion.

Although the provision is being championed by Democrats, legalization also has Republican support, including Representative Melissa Ziobron, ranking House Republican on the House Appropriations Committee.

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Connecticut Senate President Files Bill to Legalize Cannabis, Separate Measure Filed in House

Connecticut Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney (D-New Haven) has filed a bill to legalize cannabis. A separate bill that would also legalize cannabis has been filed in the state’s House of Representatives.

Connecticut map outline with state seal.

Senate Bill 11 would allow those 21 and older to legally possess and use cannabis. Modeled after Colorado’s Amendment 64, it would establish a system of regulated and taxed cannabis retail outlets and cultivation centers. The measure is in the Joint Committee on Judiciary.

“I would urge us to adopt that broad based legalization and also have a tax structure similar to Colorado which generates significant revenue for the state General Fund,” says Looney.

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Connecticut Supreme Court Reinstates State Employee Caught Smoking Marijuana On The Job

By Daniel Fisher, Forbes.com

smoking marijuana on the jobWho says arbitration is stacked against the little guy? The Connecticut Supreme Court this week reversed a lower court and reinstated a state employee who’d been fired for smoking marijuana on the job, siding with his union and an arbitrator who said the punishment was too harsh — even though the employee had access to heavy vehicles and performed maintenance work on building roofs.

The decision in State of Connecticut v. Conn. Employees Union Independent says police found University of Connecticut Health Center worker Gregory Linhoff in a UConn van parked in a “secluded area” at 5:30 p.m., smoking from a glass pipe. He told police he was taking a short break from work and lit up the pipe to eliminate “smelly” pot residue. He was arrested and police found two bags with three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana in his pockets. Criminal charges were later dismissed, but UConn fired him, citing his access to dangerous vehicles, the unsupervised nature of his work maintaining heating and air conditioning equipment in high places, and, well, the fact that smoking pot is illegal and doing it on state time in a state-owned van is a firing offense.

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Connecticut: Legislation to Legalize Medical Cannabis for Children Signed into Law by Governor

medcanLegislation (House Bill 5450) to legalize the medical use of cannabis for those under 18 has been signed into law by Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy after being approved 152 to 24 by the state’s legislature. The new law also protects nurses who administer medical cannabis to qualified patients in hospitals from any criminal, civil, or work-related disciplinary actions.

Under the proposed law, children with a wide variety of ailments would be allowed to use non-smokeable forms of cannabis (such as tinctures) for medical use, so long as the child has approval from their parent or guardian and receives a recommendation from a physician and a specialist (under current Connecticut law medical cannabis is already legal for those 18 and older). Qualifying conditions include but are not limited to cancer, glaucoma, HIV, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and post traumatic stress disorder.

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Connecticut Legislature Passes Measure to Legalize Medical Cannabis for Children, Governor to Sign

Cannabis tincture.
Cannabis tincture.

Just a couple days after the Connecticut House of Representatives voted 129 to 13 to pass a bill to legalize the medical use of cannabis medicines for those under 18, the state’s Senate has voted 23 to 11 to pass the same measure. It now goes to Governor Dannel P. Malloy, who introduced the bill.

Under the proposal, children with a wide variety of ailments would be allowed to use non-smokeable forms of cannabis (such as tinctures) for medical use, so long as the child has approval from their parent or guardian and receives a recommendation from a physician and a specialist.

Qualifying conditions include cancer, glaucoma, HIV, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, uncontrolled intractable seizure disorder, cachexia, wasting syndrome, Crohn’s disease, post traumatic stress disorder,irreversible spinal cord injury with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, any terminal illness requiring end of life care and “any medical condition, medical treatment or disease approved for qualifying patients by the Department of Consumer Protection”

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Connecticut House of Representatives Passes Measure to Legalize Medical Cannabis for Children

medcanConnecticut’s House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to expand the state’s medical-cannabis program – established in 2012 – to include those under the age of 18.

Under the proposed law, which now heads to the Senate for consideration, it would allow children with seizure disorders such as epilepsy and other severe neurological conditions and terminal illnesses to use non-smokeable forms of cannabis such as tinctures for medical use, given their child receives a recommendation from their physician and a specialist (such as a neurologist), and has approval from their parents or legal guardians.

The measure was passed overwhelmingly, 129 to 13.

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